A local Maori organisation will receive more than $150,000 to implement a youth suicide prevention programme.

Te Runanga o Ngati Pikiao Trust's "2morros Rangatira" initiative looks to educate and support Maori rangatahi (youth) from the ages of 10 to 24.

Michael Naera, Kai Paki te Ora projects leader at Ngati Pikiao, said the idea behind the initiative came from the "2morrows Rangatira" youth group.

"They said their voices are lost. Adults are heard talking about suicide, but not the youth. Their concern is to be heard. It's community-driven."


He said, in light of tomorrow being World Suicide Prevention Day, listening to youth was important.

The programme looks to support the takatapui peer support group to develop LGBTIQ resources, and facilitate workshops to address suicidal behaviour, and understand signs and symptoms.

Mr Naera said an important part of the programme was addressing cyberbullying. The aim is to create effective resources to do this via social media such as Facebook and Instagram.

Youth worker Neihana Mackey is the full time co-ordinator for the project, and a counsellor works 20 hours per week.

The funding for the project came from Te Puni Kokiri, which is providing just under $2 million to 30 organisations nationwide to run rangatahi suicide prevention initiatives.

The funded projects reflect regions where incidence of youth suicide is high.

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Waiariki MP and Maori development minister Te Ururoa Flavell said the projects were urgently needed given the high rates of Maori suicide.

"The suicide rates for our rangatahi are two and a half times higher than for non-Maori youth, so we need solutions that are tailored for Maori in the modern age."

A requirement of the projects receiving funding is that rangatahi leadership must be central to their design, implementation and delivery.

There will be information on "2morros Rangatira" available at tomorrow's "Hikoi 4 Hope" starting at 11am at the Village Green. The hikoi is being run by Ngati Pikiao to raise awareness of suicide prevention in the community.

Where to get help:
Lifeline - 0800 543 354
Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
Samaritans - 0800 726 666
Youthline (open 24/7) - 0800 376 633. Text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email talk@youthline.co.nz.
0800 WHATSUP (0800 9428 787), open between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at www.whatsup.co.nz.
Healthline - 0800 611 116